Referrals are critical for every sales professional. No amount of cold calling will surpass the power of a great referral. Yet most of us are pretty bad about nurturing and developing our customers as great referral resources.
Recently, I took the time to read Paul McCord’s “Creating A Million Dollar A Year Sales Income, Sales Success Through Client Referrals.” I thought I had been doing a pretty good job in doing this myself, but I learned a lot from Paul’s book.
Paul creates a comprehensive process that ranges from setting expectations with customers on referrals, through earning referrals, getting the referral, and contacting the prospect. He provides a comprehensive guide to the complete process.
The best thing about the book is Paul’s suggestions about using his process is that you adopt those parts that are most relevant to you. There were some parts of Paul’s process, particularly setting the expectation of getting referrals up front, that don’t fit the way many of my clients sales people do business. But I can clearly see how the entire process fits many industry segments and people who sell personal services. Whether the entire process applies to you or not, there are some very important things every sales professional can learn from this book.
One of the things, that isn’t really obvious until you think about it, is that just asking for referrals doesn’t work. Sure, the customer may say yes, but what you need is a referral that has real impact and creates the outcome you want–powerful introductions to the right people in the right way. There is much more to getting those kinds of effective referrals than just asking. Paul does a great job in decoding that and outlining a clear process–one that helps the referrer and gets you the result you want.
I really liked Paul’s’ discussion about earning the referral. Clearly, unless we perform and create great value for the customer, we can’t expect getting a referral. Another part, contacting the prospect was also outstanding. Too often, in contacting referred prospects, we do that poorly, wasting the power of the referral and, perhaps, adversely impacting our relationship with the customer providing the referral.
Creating A Million Dollar A Year Sales Income, Sales Success Through Client Referrals provides sound advice for any sales professional that wants to build their business through referrals. This book is different from similar books that I have read. It provides lots of great tips and advice. It’s pragmatic and something you feel you can immediately execute. Buy the book and read it, you’ll learn something.
Oh, by the way, when you do pass this along, please introduce me to the person you send this to. I’d appreciate the referral!